15 August 2023

Poland stages military parade on anniversary of battle against Bolsheviks

15 August 2023

Poland has staged a military parade to showcase its state-of-the-art weapons and defence systems as war rages across its south-eastern border in Ukraine and ahead of parliamentary elections on October 15.

Crowds gathered in scorching temperatures expected to reach 35C to see US-made Abrams tanks, Himars mobile artillery systems and Patriot missile systems, as well as South Korean FA-50 fighter jets and K9 howitzers.

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Poland’s right-wing government has spent more than 16 billion dollars (£12.6bn) on tanks, missile interceptor systems and fighter jets, many purchased from the US and South Korea.

Poland, a Nato member, supports Kyiv in its war against Russia.

The parade was held in Poland’s capital on the anniversary of the 1920 Battle of Warsaw, in which Polish troops defeated Bolshevik forces advancing on Europe.

The military upgrades have bolstered Poland’s defence capabilities and some items replaced Soviet and Russian-made equipment that Poland gave to Ukraine.

Poland is building one of Europe’s strongest armies to beef up deterrence against potential aggressors and has increased the number of troops along its border with Russia’s key ally, Belarus.

Showing off its military might is also a way for Poland’s government to attract voter support ahead of the October elections, in which the populist ruling Law and Justice party will seek to win an unprecedented third term.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox